COVID-19 scare: people avoid eating out, attending parties – The Hindu

Restaurant News

With several Delhiites practising social distancing as a precautionary measure to protect themselves from the COVID-19 epidemic, restaurants, malls, and even wedding venues have been seeing the number of visitors dwindle.

At an open-air restaurant in south Delhi where getting a table is close to impossible for walk-in visitors over the weekend, a live band that attracts hundreds of patrons was playing for a table occupied by four guests, with the restaurant staff cheering them on.

Abhishek, the manager of the restaurant, said, “We expected less guests but to have only one table full in such a large restaurant shows that people in the city are practising social distancing very seriously. For us, we have to keep running the place and hope that it is back to business as usual. But until then, we are going to suffer a huge loss.”

Mr. Abhishek added that for the past week, they have not got any group bookings and that the band was playing only because they had a contract with the restaurant.

The COVID-19 scare has not only hit businesses, but has also managed to ruin weddings and birthday parties. Rajinder Pal who manages a banquet hall in Mayapuri, says that he has received calls from people who had booked the hall if they could reduce the “minimum guarantee” number that they had promised. “Many people are avoiding social gatherings and at weddings held over the weekend, only close family of the bride and groom have been turning up, whereas the minimum guarantee number given by them was over 200,” Mr. Pal said.

Sakshi Seth, a working mother, says that with schools shut, she has been finding it tough to entertain her children at home as she has to be away at work. “My son can no more attend his drama class, football coaching and several other activities that I had lined up for him after school. All sessions and classes have been cancelled,” Ms. Seth said. She added that as a precaution, she has not been ordering food through food delivery apps as well.

Several conferences at scheduled places in the city have also been cancelled due to the virus outbreak. The Dastakar bazaar has been cut short by the organisers and is scheduled to end on Monday.

The organisers said that they had ensured that every visitor to the bazaar sanitised their hands before entering and that all counter had sanitisers next to them, adding that they decided to cut the event short adhering to the WHO guidelines and other heath advisories on COVID-19.

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